Colvin & Moggridge Work in Partnership with Ecologists at Buttersteep House, Surrey

Article by Marcus Shields on August 22, 2012

An exciting refurbishment of the interiors and gardens of Buttersteep House has been completed since the Autumn of last year.

New elements include a rose garden, a pond with cascade and ornamental gazebo, a kitchen garden with glasshouse, and the reinstatement of footpaths and a tennis court.  The extensive clearance of rhododendron and scrub has imaginatively opened up garden areas to create wildflower drifts, woodland meadow and herbaceous borders around the principal lawn.

In concert with ecologists, the landscape scheme adopted a particularly sensitive approach to the existing tree canopy of the site’s Crown Estate location, most significantly to mitigate impacts on the existing bat population.  A relocation license was successfully submitted to Natural England and a new garden store built to compensate for loss of habitat.

The Official Private Opening of Old Alresford House Gardens

Article by Mike Ibbotson on June 28, 2012

June the 14th marked an important day for our long standing clients Mike Hall and Shuna MacKillop of Old Alresford House in Hampshire. The creation and restoration of their Grade II listed park and gardens, which we’d worked on together for 8 years, was complete.

The house was built by Admiral Lord Rodney, one of Britain’s greatest naval heroes, who in 1764 commissioned Richard Woods, a contemporary of Capability Brown, to design the grounds of his property. In 1766 Rodney was forced to rent out the Estate to escape debts, and Woods’ creation was abandoned. 238 years later, when our clients acquired the property, the Woods’ plan was dusted off and this ambitious project embarked upon.

The Original Woods Plan

Our clients’ vision was to restore the garden to Woods’ precise design, planting only trees, shrubs and flowers introduced into Britain by 1764, so Simon Hoare undertook detailed historical research, before our project team produced a masterplan laying out the ha-ha, sunk fences, woodland walks and 22 shrubberies as originally proposed. Working closely with us as the plan was realised, our clients also extended the commission to include the creation of a contemporary Mediterranean Pool garden as an intimate family area, a chalk stream bog garden with boardwalk and a formal entrance courtyard.

The Mediterranean Pool Garden

With Woods’ vision and the gardens complete Mike and Shuna wanted to mark the occasion. The Colvin & Moggridge team, some of our clients and business associates, as well as Woods expert Fiona Cowell and historian John Martin Robinson, gathered to celebrate the moment. Hal Moggridge cut the ribbon and officially opened the gardens.

Hal Moggridge

Our guests, then set off on the one-mile perimeter walk taking in the 22 acres of parkland and 13 acres of gardens before rounding the day off with champagne and Jacaranda canapés.

Beech Walk

A few days later the gardens were opened for the first time to the public under the National Gardens Scheme. Over 600 garden enthusiasts enjoyed visiting the Old Alresford House gardens, with many committing to come back year on year, so taken were they by the combination of an ambitious restoration project and dramatic contemporary gardens.

New Water Garden for Rare Hal Moggridge House

Article by Mark Darwent on March 15, 2012

Colvin and Moggridge have been appointed by Lord and Lady Goodhart to design a small water garden at their weekend house on the Youlbury estate in Oxfordshire.

We have a long association with this woodland house. It is one of only three houses designed by Hal Moggridge soon after starting his partnership with Brenda Colvin in 1969. Hal first trained as an architect, before pursuing his real passion – landscape design.

The modernist house is built in a glade in the woodland and projects out over sloping ground with the main living room on the first floor enjoying wonderful woodland views.  The house was Grade II listed by English Heritage in 2009, the listing describing it as: “a clean-cut, sharp piece of design that makes the most of good materials and careful craftsmanship, yet retains a warmth and humanity typical of the architect’s work in other areas of design”.

Mark Darwent and Eleanor Hall will work on the project. Mark knows the site intimately having been a tenant of the Goodharts in a cottage on the estate for several years early on in his career at Colvin & Moggridge.

New Coastal House Provides Opportunity for Ecological Enhancement

Article by Mike Ibbotson on March 13, 2012

Permission has been gained to build a new house in a unique setting on the shore of the Solent in the New Forest National Park. The new house, designed by Adam Architects, will replace the undistinguished existing house and a redundant derelict fisheries complex.

Demolition of the former fisheries and removal of the existing house will provide significant opportunities for the ecological enhancement of large areas of the site. We have teamed up with local ecologist Jonathan Cox to create a varied landscape of coastal grassland, acid grassland and wetland and enclosed scrub habitat – all typical of the coastal fringe landscape. This will provide continuity with a neighbouring marsh to the west and a diverse habitat linked to the wooded areas eastwards of the site.

Foreshore Sketch


Our design of the site will also:

  • provide a framework of mainly native trees, typical of local coastal woodlands, to enhance the general setting of the replacement house and boathouse and bolster the coastal pines with new trees as ‘understudies’;
  • retain a coastal grassland character against the foreshore and encourage typical coastal plants;
  • retain the stunning views from the site to the Solent and Hurst Castle;
  • recess the built structures into landscape framework setting of the site and shelter the house and gardens from wind;
  • enhance the surroundings of the new house with gardens for the owner’s enjoyment and a sheltered walled garden for cut flowers, fruit and vegetable production.